Sluggish industrial output clouds Korea's economic recovery
Slumping industrial output and a weak job market are casting a long shadow over the economy.
New numbers from Statistics Korea show that mining and manufacturing dropped by point-one percent in July, reversing from a point-six percent gain in June.
The report attributed the fall to the faltering manufacturing industry.
Although production for semiconductors and food stuffs rose by over seven percent and two percent, respectively, output for cars, machinery and oil products all fell in July from a month earlier.
Also, it seems the country is some time away from seeing improvement in the job market.
A survey by job portal website Incruit showed that of the country's 777 major companies contacted, only 36 percent said that they are planning to recruit new employees in the second half of the year.
That's close to the 35 percent seen back in the second half of 2009, when the country was suffering from the global financial crisis.
Smaller companies are struggling more than the nation's major conglomerates.
About half of the conglomerates said they will recruit in the second half of the year, while only 38 percent of well-established mid-sized companies and 33 percent of SMEs said they have recruitment plans.
This is expected to lead to unbalanced recruitment among these companies, with the conglomerates expected to take up over 60 percent of the newly employed.
"The recovery is being delayed because of the prolonged economic slump. There's uncertainty in corporate management. That's why the job market is struggling."
With the grim job prospects and the manufacturing industry remaining in the doldrums, the Korean economy still has a number of challenges ahead.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
Reporter : Lian.firstname.lastname@example.org